How to counteract a rich guy trying to run you off your land?

11 Replies

I have a surfing buddy who lives on a bluff on the southern California coast in a house he inherited from his grandparents who bought that house in the 1950's.   The house is worth several million dollars today and has a multi-million dollar view of the ocean from the porch which sits on a bluff and overlooks a portion of the Santa Monica bay.  The house is on a larger lot with a lot of trees and bushes.

Several years ago a rich guy bought one of the houses next door and has been one of those nightmare neighbors from hell.   He's called code enforcement on my friend to remove structures on his property.   He's attempted to move the boundary line.   A bunch of plants on my friend's property suddenly died, then code enforcement showed up and said there was a report from a neighbor that my friend wasn't adequately keeping up his property.

The situation for my friend is so bad, that he feels he can't leave his property for a weekend for fear of what the neighbor would do.  He suspects this guy is trying to run him off his property so that he can buy it up and enlarge his own estate.

I know how I would handle the situation.   Knowing that we are in the People's Republic of California, does anyone have any advice I can relay on what they have done, or would do in a similar situation?

@Rob Pattison

First thing, put up cameras to catch him in the act if he’s really vandalizing the property. Second, offer to sell it to him for $90M then go buy a nicer place with better neighbors.

Hi Rob,

Invite him (and his Mrs) over to sit on the view patio and have some good Sonoma Wine and cheese one evening, or to watch a sporting event on TV with free drinks.

In other words, shake a hand and make a friend.

Who knows maybe Mr. Rich Guy has a Yacht and you guys might get invited to go out for a fun afternoon on the ocean.

Good Luck!

I feel like a bottle Roundup could make some stuff magically die on the other side of the property line. 

And your friend is probably richer than the "Rich Guy" net worth wise.

Paid off Multi-million dollar home paying 1950's taxes on a view bluff in Calif., and whatever income he has compared to the "Rich Guy" paying a mortgage with 30% equity in the home at current days tax rates, and probably a light 6 figure income, and 3 ex-wives screaming for Alimony and child support from his paycheck.

So in reality, your friend is the real "Rich Guy" and "Rich Guys" need to watch their P's and Q's to avoid being sued for amounts that will make him have to sell the house...(aka...Shake a hand--make a friend)...

It sounds like very minor issues, to me. Some deal plants and calling Code Enforcement is not The Nightmare On Elm Street. I've done worse than that to neighbors I like.

Installing video cameras in being paranoid and the major problems with cameras is they are a waste of money because everyone already knows that only a serious fool doesn't pay attention to outdoor camera and every every serious fool knows that video footage taken at nighttime is grainy and can't identify someone with a sweatshirt hood and a mask.

Just wave, smile, say hello and never count someone else's money. The neighbor sound like a grumpy and broke old man. People who appear to have money spend their money on their appearance and people who live in run-down properties bank all their cash and don't spend their money on appearance. I am a plumbing repair contractor and profile property owners before I go into their homes. The customers with the the most-beautiful homes on the outside almost always have the least amount of disposable cash and the most-dilapidated property home owners had the most disposable cash and when they need repairs they are the best-paying customers we ever get.

One more strange thing. Homeowners who own Buicks are 100% sure-thing when they need repairs and they never complain about the price. 

Originally posted by @Jack Orthman :

It sounds like very minor issues, to me. Some deal plants and calling Code Enforcement is not The Nightmare On Elm Street. I've done worse than that to neighbors I like.

Installing video cameras in being paranoid and the major problems with cameras is they are a waste of money because everyone already knows that only a serious fool doesn't pay attention to outdoor camera and every every serious fool knows that video footage taken at nighttime is grainy and can't identify someone with a sweatshirt hood and a mask.

Just wave, smile, say hello and never count someone else's money. The neighbor sound like a grumpy and broke old man. People who appear to have money spend their money on their appearance and people who live in run-down properties bank all their cash and don't spend their money on appearance. I am a plumbing repair contractor and profile property owners before I go into their homes. The customers with the the most-beautiful homes on the outside almost always have the least amount of disposable cash and the most-dilapidated property home owners had the most disposable cash and when they need repairs they are the best-paying customers we ever get.

One more strange thing. Homeowners who own Buicks are 100% sure-thing when they need repairs and they never complain about the price. 

Truth

Start by putting up cameras in the yard and signs that say the area is under surveillance.

I'd also wonder if the trees that were killed blocked the neighbour's view?  If so, I'd be tempted to put up some privacy screening and see what happens.

I'm sure if some round up accidentally spilled on the neighbour's yard, your friend would feel horrible...you know while your friend is trying to make sure none of the 'weeds' grow on that side of his yard to offend the neighbour.

Thanks for your advice, Theresa.    

The first advice I'm going to give my friend is to go talk to the guy, or as a gentleman on this thread suggested, invite him over for a meal, coffee or beer with the goal of making a friend.

If that action doesn't work, then put up the cameras, and as you suggested, signs saying the area is under surveilance.

Next step is to put up a 10' chain link fence with barbed wire at the top, maybe privacy covers.

Next step after that would be to go and talk to a detective, tell him what's going on and see if he can get the police on his side.